We've been talking quite a bit about La Pageant Diva
around Cultist lately. The short film was screened at the Borscht Film Festival
to much audience hollering, screeching, and giggling. One of the stars and the co-writer of the production, Giovanni Profera
, is the self-proclaimed Bruno of Miami. But we think he's a little too much of a darling to be big bad Bruno. Besides his warmth and sense of humor, he also has a bromance going with the director of La Pageant Diva
, Franco Parente.
Parente says, "Working with Gio is like harnessing a whirlwind of creativity. He's an amazingly talented individual who brings so many ideas to his character. It's hard for him to edit himself. I think we work well together, because I can edit his creativity yet respect his talent and he in turn respects my vision." So sweet!
Profera lovingly calls Parente his "baby daddy" in the following interview and is excited to work with the director again. Parente noted, "We are currently in development together of a project he created that makes La Pageant Diva look like an after-school special. It's entitled "Sazon" and is basically Que Pasa, USA? meets Glee on weed!" Trippy, Cuban, and musical? Triple please.
Below is more personal information about the next best thing to come out of Hialeah.
Cultist: Tell me about your role in this La Pageant Diva.
Giovanni Profera: I play Valentino the gay assistant. It's just like the Birdcage of the millennium. It's just a fun hearted, light comedy, you know what I mean? It's like Miami is so serious, especially with the art scene, that we just need to laugh a little bit. You know? Just have a good time, go to a movie and really enjoy ourselves. What I tried to do with this character is not be pretentious or have that actor ego, just let it all fucking go, let's have fun, and I know if I have fun, the audience is going to have a great time when they see this.
Are you like a trained actor and stuff?
Well, I did study acting in high school and such, but my background's in dance. I'm a dance minor at FIU, a Liberal Arts major. It's just what I do, I want to bring happiness to people, and I do it through comedy.
Do you ever do stand-up?
I tried stand-up, but um...
Didn't work out?
No, I think I was too drunk.
Like me when I "DJ..."
You get so excited that you're like just let me throw 'em back, and then you're too gone. I just got up and there and was like, "I have the Jesus nose" and no one got it except my sister.
I was like, but it's Jesus time.
What kind of dance do you do, modern?
Modern and African, yeah so it's a lot of Afro-Cuban.
Are you Cuban?
Yes, I am. Cuban, Lebanese, and Italian.
I'm Lebanese! I could tell that's why I asked.
What, from the chest hair, or the shoulder hair? (Points at hairy shoulders.)
Do you enjoy working with Franco Parente?
Oh, my God, it was such a pleasure to work with him. He gives the actors so much artistic freedom, but yet, he has a vision in his head so it works. He's the yin to my yang. He's my baby daddy. Franco Parente is my baby daddy.
Have you acted in anything else recently?
Yeah, I was just in a Ricky Martin video. He is also my baby daddy. Girl, you know, I was trying to get pregnant. Baby gotta eat. Baby gotta eat.
I saw him once at Hoy Como Ayer, and he was so handsome. Star power.
And he's so nice. He has this presence to him. I don't know, it's not an ego, it's not that scared presence, it's just humble. It's amazing.
What'd you do in the video?
(snaps) Like this. Yeah, but in the audition, I had to kiss a guy on camera, but that didn't make it to the cut. But it's alright because I got the role. You know with these hips, girl. These hips don't lie.
Do you feel like this will lead to something else?
Yeah, actually I'm in the process of writing a film, a Hialeah musical, called Sazon, and Franco's actually going to work on that as well. So, we're trying to create this team where we just keep working together and just creating Miami movie magic. Cause I think that Miami needs to be brought back to Miami and what it's meant to be, it's just a melting pot of beautiful cultures.
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